MLA 2020 wrap up notes for Prairielands
I was able to attend the first ever fully digital MLA conference with the help of Prairielands. The class sessions and speakers were scheduled and we had multiple choices of topics and classes to choose from for each session time. On Wednesday, Sept. 30th I attended the following sessions: Reading for Justice: A Database for Children’s & YA Literature; Sweetgrass & Storytellers: Creative Narratives of Ojibwe Women’s Lives; The Five E’s of Libraries: Crafting Compelling Library Messaging; and Easy Graphic Novels for Hard Times: 2020 Graphic Novel Vision. On Thursday, October 1st, I attended these sessions: Resilience 101; and the Keynote speaker, Jana Shortal’s presentation. On Friday, Oct. 2nd I attended these sessions: Minnesota Author Project: Celebrating the 2020 winners; Minnesota Center for the book: Year in Review. I also was able to pop into several vendor rooms as well.
I enjoyed all of the sessions, but I would have to say my favorite session was the keynote speaker, Jana Shortal. She offers a lot of inspiration and hope to all people regardless of where you are in life. The Graphic Novel session is always fun and it’s a great way to do a shelf check. I wrote up lists of recommended graphic novels to add to our library collections.
The session on resilience was a great reminder for us all to focus on the positive rather than the negative and to take time for our own self care. For librarians, who love to help and serve our patrons, along with everything we juggle in our lives, it is easy to forget to take care of ourselves. Finding little tidbits of joy to help us stay positive and keep us well (physically, emotionally, and mentally) will help us be better librarians in the long run.
Attending the digital MLA conference was an overall good experience that allowed us to explore and share ideas, as well as recharge for another year of librarianship.